Medical Negligence News

Claim Resolved for Child’s Misdiagnosis for Meningitis

Posted on: May 6th, 2012 by Medical Negligence

The family of a young girl who sustained severe and debilitating injuries after she was sent home from hospital with a misdiagnosis when she was actually suffering from meningitis is to be awarded compensation, the Mold County Court heard.

Kate Pierce, now aged six, was taken to the Wrexham’s Maelor Hospital by her parents when she was just nine months old. She was attended by a junior doctor, who diagnosed the baby viral tonsillitis and told her parents that it was safe to take her home. However, Kate’s parents wanted a second opinion on the diagnosis and were told by the junior doctor that a senior doctor had been consulted – but, in truth, no advice was sought from any senior doctor.

When Kate’s parents brought her home, her condition deteriorated and she was brought back into hospital the following day by her parents. She was correctly diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis, and though she was transferred to Liverpool’s Alder Hat Children’s Hospital, it was sadly too late to prevent any damage to Kate. As a result of her meningitis, Kate is now registered as blind and deaf, suffers from severe epilepsy and has chronic lung disease.

Kate’s parents sought legal counsel for the medical negligence that their child suffered, and subsequently sued the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board for the misdiagnosis and resulting injuries to their daughter. They alleged that the misdiagnosis had delayed their daughter’s care, and had a correct diagnosis been made, their daughter would not be totally reliant on twenty-four hour care or as severely disabled. The Health Board conducted an investigation into the incident, and then admitted that “aspects of care provided by the hospital were not of an acceptable standard”.

However, the Board has only accepted seventy-five percent liability for Kate’s injuries. The case was then heard at the Mold County Court, where an apology was issued to the family. The case was then adjourned for an assessment of Kate’s future needs to be conducted. As she is below the legal age to represent herself, a judge will have to approve her settlement, though it is expected to be in the seven figure range.